The State Fair of Texas is a wondrous bazaar dedicated to—among other things—giving people the opportunity to eat what the human body can only vaguely recognize as “food.” For the better part of a month, attendees have the chance to munch on things fried, things bacon-infused, or—even better—both. Yeah, yeah, everything in moderation, but the State Fair’s only once a year!
There are still a little over three weeks to go before the State Fair actually begins, but this weekend’s 2015 Big Tex Choice Awards unveiled some of the delicacies Texas chefs have cooked up (and deep fried) for this year’s event. Luckily, a legion of Instagrammers captured them for us to see.
Things start out pretty chill at the event, with Isaac Russo—inventor of 2013’s deep-fried Cuban roll—staying out of the fryer in favor of bacon. The margarita’s uncanny shade of neon green contrasts nicely with the earthiness of the bacon, creating a confection that’s a study in contrast.
Now, lobster and champagne sounds more appropriate at a Northerners’ soirée than the fair. But what about chicken-fried lobster and champagne gravy? The dish is made from an entire lobster tail, which is then breaded and deep fried to ensure that the taste of the expensive delicacy is buried under layers of breading that, presumably, make it taste like chicken fingers. That’s more like it.
See the little bit of green peaking through the breading there? That’s minced jalapeño, mixed in with sweet corn, cream cheese, and bacon. It doesn’t really sound all that different from your standard jalapeño popper, but check out that palm leaf presentation!
It’s been quite a year for alligators in this state, as the prehistoric reptile claimed its first Texan victim earlier this summer (prompting the most famous last words in a generation). Well, the humans are here for revenge: the “Deep-Fried Alligator’s Egg Nest” is made with alligator meat, cheese, jalapeños, and breading. Because “f*** that alligator.”
Hi. Here is deep-fried carrot cake. We have no snarky comments about this little piece of perfection, which won the Big Tex Choice Award for “best taste.” Indeed.
The health benefits of cooking with buffalo meat rather than beef are well-documented: the taste is almost the same (buffalo is maybe a little richer), but the nutritional rewards are much more like eating chicken than beef. Here’s a great way to cancel out those benefits: take some lean ground bison, flavor it with mesquite, roll it in pequin chili pepper and crushed Corn Nuts, dip it in a Shiner beer batter, then dust it with bacon bits and serve it with cream sauce.
Let’s be real: The pretzel-crusted pollo queso isn’t that different from the cowboy corn crunch or the fried ‘gator. It’s another deep-fried ball of cheeses/meat/breading. But if the fact that there are too many deep-fried cheese/meat/breading balls is a problem for you, the State Fair of Texas is probably not where you want to be anyway.